8th August 2022

Meet the team: Clare Gallagher, Project Director, Olympic Stadium

As we celebrate 10 years since the London 2012 Games, we speak to Clare Gallagher who worked as Construction Manager on the centrepiece Olympic Stadium.

We are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Olympic Stadium.

Clare Gallagher joined us as a student in 1990, progressing from a Junior Engineer to Section Manager.  She was a part of the team that built the Emirates Stadium, from piling through to completion, so had developed a detailed understanding of the particular challenges involved in stadium design and construction. Having worked closely with the design team of Populous and Buro Happold at the Emirates, along with key supply chain members which included Byrne Bros, Keltbray and Watson Steel, she was in a great position to join ‘Team Stadium’ on the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.

Reflecting on her previous stadium project experience, Clare said:

“Much of the lessons learnt on the Emirates Stadium were taken forward to the Olympics.  One of the key elements that really resonated with me was the level of engagement with everyone on site, with each individual’s opinions being respected and considered, creating a fully inclusive culture.  Milestones were celebrated with the full site team, from annual countdown to the opening ceremony and VIP visits.  I personally now engage directly with the operatives far more than I might have in the past.”

The successful delivery of the Olympic Stadium also came from using proven supply chain partners.

Overcoming challenges was business as usual for Team Stadium. Clare recalls the logistics process:

“The scale of the Olympic Park was immense, but we were fortunate to be the first venue to commence on site.  Once through the park gates and airport style security, we were transported by bus to our venue due to the size of the park. Deliveries had to be booked in advance and were held outside of the park until their allocated slot.  There was a batching plant for concrete on the park and we had our own precast production line on the site.”

With the venue handed over early, under budget and with an exemplary safety record, Clare, who had delayed a move back to her native Cardiff to work on the project, was able to enjoy some of the Paralympic events in the stadium she’d help create. For her though, the real joy was “the energy around those travelling on public transport to the stadium and the whole energy around London”.

“I don’t think it was until that point it really hit home what I had been part of – even now, sometimes you go, ‘oh, yeah, I was Construction Manager on the Olympic Stadium’,” she says.

Lessons learnt

“Looking back there were many lessons learnt around health and safety procedures which was not just a takeaway for us, but for the industry whole. Also, the Olympic Stadium project allowed us to implement new sustainability measures, from reducing waste to engaging local communities, which is a key focus for our projects nowadays.”

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